In January of last year, I first heard about Holland through my K-pop group chat with abut 200 other people. One girl sent a video and I didn't watch it because it was a teaser and had a bunch of Korean that I couldn't read (and I hate watching teasers because it makes me impatient). But then the next day, I looked on Instagram and my online friends on there were posting about not being able to wait for the music video for a music video(MV) called "Neverland."
Now, I am a huge Peter Pan fan (not as big as Mulan but pretty close) so the name actually caught my interest. I recognized the title screen as the same one from my group chat so I went back there and found that everyone was talking about how sexy and sweet the teaser looked. I wish I had screenshots of the chat because what they were saying was so funny and inappropriate (sexual).
HOLLAND(홀랜드) - 'Neverland (네버랜드)' M/V www.youtube.com
More than a month after the LGBTQ supporter and k-pop idol, Kim Jonghyun committed suicide, Holland released his music video Neverland on January 21st as a self-managed K-Pop idol without the backing of a major label. It tells the personal story of Hollands past as a 3-year victim of homophobic bullying. It wasn't until later after the viewers made stories and interpretations of the MV that Holland told his story of hardship, sadness and attempted suicide and how the song "Neverland" was an extension of his feelings at the time.
Now, Holland is considered the first openly gay K-pop idol. There are other idols that are rumored to be gay but strongly deny it like Kim Heechul of Super Junior and Ren of Nu'est due to their feminine qualities and the way they act. Years ago, the rumors about them almost caused them to retire early because of the negative outlook on the LGBTQ community in South Korea. According to a Gallup poll, more than half of Korea residents said they are against same-sex marriage (Why is South Korea so Intolerant of it's gay community?). and this is further evident when the South Korean Broadcasting Network banned the showing of the Music video on television because of a kiss Holland shared with another boy in the MV.
On March 31st (April 1st in South Korea) last year, Holland pulled a prank on his Twitter followers by posting the Tweet "I'm not gay."
I'm not gay— HOLLAND (@HOLLAND)1522521519.0
This lead to a funny barrage of comments like "I'm choking", "OMG, I just realized it's April 1st in Korea. I thought he was hacked for a minute.", and "I'm not fooled."
The popular openly gay celebrity Hong Seok-cheon showed his support in a picture with Holland shortly after the MV release. Seok-cheon came out as gay in 2000 and after much struggling, he is acknowledged as the most prominent gay celebrity since then. This support from Seok-cheon proves the waves that Holland is making.
In addition to the single "Neverland," Holland also released a MV titled "I'm Not Afraid" a full pregnancy term ago. And just recently, Holland released the MV for "Nar_C" last month which although not as successful as "Neverland," was still an amazing song that you should check out. You will squeal with love and at the sweetness like all the MV's make me do. >o<
HOLLAND - Nar_C M/V www.youtube.com